Maine’s ability to adapt and to innovate are both extraordinary. Mainers know how to take care of each other and have a longstanding tradition of providing support in times of need.
Spring 2020 has been no exception.
Keep reading to learn about Maine companies from Biddeford to Guilford and how they are pivoting to produce desperately needed goods.
A Distillery Producing Hand Sanitizer
Biddeford-based Batson River Brewing and Distilling has started producing Use Me Hand Sanitizer, according to a Portland Press Herald article. The Distillery’s owner, Tim Harrington, asked chemists they have on staff to research and produce their first sample. Harrington hopes to help to fix the hand sanitizer shortage by converting his distilling operations to produce hand sanitizer. Police and fire departments in the Kennebunk area, Bradbury Brothers Market in Kennebunkport and several Hannaford locations received the first commercial batch!
A Plastics Company Donating Plastic for Protective Shields
Another Biddeford-based company, Thermoformed Plastics of New England, donated plastic for protective shields to a New Hampshire candle company that had the facilities to produce shields. This News Center Maine article explains the partnership further. As of April 7, 2020, the two companies had produced 12,500 face shields, as their press release explains. One thousand of the masks were donated to the City of Biddeford fire and police departments and the plastics company has received orders for over 600,000 face shields.
A Medical Supply Company Expanding Production of Swabs
Puritan Medical Products is headquartered in Guilford, ME and produces the swabs used to test for viruses like COVID-19. Their website details CDC guidelines, how Puritan is responding to the needs of health professionals, and explains how they are tackling their surge in demand. Puritan Medical Product’s blog describes how Puritan is “one of only two suppliers worldwide who produce the specialized swab CDC recommends for nasopharyngeal sample collection. Demand for this swab and its transport medium skyrocketed, quickly exhausting supplies across the country.” Wow!
Not to mention, the manufacturer is making more than “1,200 different types of swaps and collection devices…normally producing over 12 million swabs per day.” Read more here.
Curious about more examples?
Flowfold (Gorham) and Abbott Laboratories (Scarborough) are both pitching in, as well! Flowfold has utilized their manufacturing facilities to create face shields to distribute to healthcare workers. They have taken precautions to protect Flowfold employees and practice social distancing within their production facilities. Abbott’s rapid COVID-19 test can produce quick results and is portable beyond a traditional hospital. One of their tests detects antibodies, while one of their other tests determines whether a patient has COVID-19. Their dedicated work on testing is detailed here.
Each of the examples above demonstrate Maine’s resilience and how Maine manufacturers are adapting, while rising to the challenge. What an incredible group of manufacturers and how lucky are we to live in a state where they are only a few examples! Many, many more exist!